A tired David came crying into the living room yesterday. Daddy had decided to make hot dogs, unaware that David had already asked me for a peanut butter and honey sandwich. I cringed from the other room when I heard Lee say “You can have a sandwich tomorrow. Today we’re having hot dogs.” Sure enough, David burst into tears and came into the living room telling me the problem.
So as I’m trying to comfort David (with a nursing baby on my lap), I’m pondering the situation of two parents who unknowingly give contrary instructions. Should I intervene and tell Lee I had already told David he could have a sandwich? Lee would probably have made the sandwiches had he known before he started making something else, but he had already settled the matter with David. Should I do anything? Would it be better to follow through with my promise, or would that be reinforcing the belief that David’s crying is an effective way to get what he wants?
Confession: I forgot to pray for wisdom.
I decided that Daddy still has veto power in Brock family structure and told him “Daddy said you could have a sandwich tomorrow.” A sob errupted. Then I said “You don’t get what you cry for.” More tears. At this point I was afraid he wasn’t going to eat anything, even though I knew he was quite hungry, but as the cousins came in for lunch, David decided to join them (still snuffling, but not crying). A few quiet minutes later, I came in the kitchen saw that Lee had given him some honey to put on his hot dog. What a dad!